Smartphones and tablets: the death and rebirth of traditional television

In the 1950’s the American family would gather around the television Leave-It-To-Beaver-style and enjoy all four channels they could pick up. Today, HD, cable, satellite and online television subscriptions have dramatically altered our choices for shows. Too bad no one’s watching them on that fancy flat-screen.

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Chatty Cathys and Negative Nancys: Are women more aggressive users of Twitter in House of Representative Campaigns?

Note: This was done in part for a class at Sam Houston State University in the political science department. Full results of the project can be found here:


Women have had a struggle from day one in the United States. They weren’t allowed to vote until the 1920’s. They hold a growing yet small number of seats in Congress. To change this, female candidates have grown in number (Manning and Shogan, 2012) and are taking to new media platforms, like Twitter, to help, in part, spread their message. Because women start out from so far behind, do they act differently on Twitter than their male counterparts? More specifically, are they more aggressive in campaigns in an attempt to catch up to become part of the political elite? This article will investigate the relationship between gender and the style of use of the micro-blogging platform Twitter. Specifically, I expect that women are more aggressive on Twitter than their male peers in these campaigns. To define aggressiveness for the purpose of this article; I will look at the number of tweets in which candidates attack and the number of tweets they publish.

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Days 4/5: Final workshops and the flight home

More business buildings in Beirut. Wonderfully beautiful designs.
More business buildings in Beirut. Wonderfully beautiful designs.

I know there aren’t many people reading my blog…yet. However, it seems odd that I wait 48+ hours to update on the last of the conference well after it was over. The reason being is that I usually type these posts right before I sleep; and seeing as I haven’t been to bed since 9 a.m. Lebanese time on the 20, this counts as my right-before-bed post.

The fourth and last official day of the conference was the most interesting to say the least. The topic were either the most controversial or most relevant to modern journalism. The three topics: Social media coverage of international justice, photojournalism of international crime, and a workshop with a defense attorney on preserving the presumption of innocence.

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Day 3: Training day one, walking through downtown Beirut

This shwarma business is located in the Hamra section of Beirut. The dish is a sliced meat sandwich where the meat is cooked on massive roasters and rotisseries before being sliced directly onto the bread before being wrapped.
This shwarma business is located in the Hamra section of Beirut. The dish is a sliced meat sandwich where the meat is cooked on massive roasters and rotisseries before being sliced directly onto the bread before being wrapped.

The third day of the conference may have been the most exciting yet. During the actual conference part of my day, I attended two workshops. One, by Sam Houston State University professor of criminal justice Mitchel Roth, Ph.D., who gave a lecture on where to find basic information for a foundation in covering organizations and tribunals like the ICC, ICJ, ICTY, ICTR, STL. Second was a workshop on covering international justice for print media by Malise Simons of the New York Times. I’ve had a chance to talk with her on several occasions and she is a real character. You can easily tell why she is both well liked and well respected. Her workshop was an emotional, heart-felt session where she went beyond the basics of covering a war crime trial. She told us stories that she used to help put a human face and emotion into an otherwise boring or dry topic. Continue reading

Day 2: Panel discussions at MCIJ

My Lebanese breakfast at the Riviera,

I finally got to see parts of the city of Beirut today when I got up. Ate breakfast which consisted of several Lebanese foods including chickpeas. Although I found out today that I’m not the world’s greatest fan Mediterranean cuisine, I’ve definitely found some that I like but more importantly broadened my scope of food.

Outside of the hotel is a beautiful view of the Mediterranean sea as well as the Lebanon mountains. The architecture throughout the city is a mixture of both the old, pre-war style of Lebanese architecture and more modern-style of design. Aymann Mhanna, SKF executive director, said that the city is going through a rebuilding stage and that there is construction going on in any available space. Continue reading

Day 1: First impressions of Beirut

As a first time international flier it couldn’t have been any scarier than getting on a massive plane ride for a total of 13 hours in my travel to Beirut. However, like everyone said, it was much ado about nothing. Just glad I didn’t lose my luggage. I did nearly lose my ring going through security but it was found shortly after I left the area so they were able to return it to me no problem. The plane was great, the food not so much, but nonetheless I arrived at the Riviera Beirut after a rather interesting car ride. Continue reading